Region 2 News Release: 06-557-NEW/BOS 2006-101
Monday. April 17, 2006
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
Rochester, N.Y., Postal Distribution Center Merits Entry in OSHA's Prestigious Voluntary Protection Program for Workplace Safety
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- The U.S. Postal Service's Logistics and Distribution Center in Rochester has earned entry into the prestigious Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) of the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The VPP recognizes worksites which develop and implement effective employee protections beyond the requirements of OSHA standards.
"Our review found both management and workers committed to maintaining and improving the center's safety and health management programs, as well as an injury and illness rate well below the industry average," said Patricia K. Clark, OSHA's regional administrator, who presented a VPP flag in a ceremony held today. "The Rochester distribution center now has the opportunity to go further and seek 'Star' status, the highest VPP designation."
The Rochester center, which has 233 employees, transports and processes priority mail from and to northwestern New York. In achieving "Merit" status, it joins an elite corps of about 1,400 workplaces nationwide that have earned VPP recognition. The "Merit" designation comes after an OSHA team's thorough on-site review of the plant's application and its safety and health programs, interviews with employees and a complete tour of the worksite.
Among the areas of excellence noted during OSHA's review were the use of traffic lights and safe work practices to minimize loading dock hazards and the use of job rotation during workshifts to reduce potential ergonomic injuries.
OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs recognize worksites where comprehensive safety and health programs have been incorporated successfully into their management systems. VPP companies achieve average injury rates 50 percent lower than other companies in their industry. The VPP programs are open to deserving employers in any industry.
Requirements for application to VPP include a high degree of management support and employee involvement; a high-quality worksite hazard analysis; prevention and control programs, and comprehensive safety and health training for all employees. Additional information is available from the VPP manager at the OSHA regional office in Boston at (617) 565-9890.
Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships, and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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